What We Fund

The Lion Recovery Fund’s goal is to Recover Lions and Restore their Landscapes. We aspire to double the number of lions by 2050 through deeper and broader actions by the conservation and philanthropic community alike

We target protected landscapes—core protected areas and the communal areas within, around and connecting them – so that they are resourced and managed to help lions, their habitats and prey, and people thrive. 

The Lion Recovery Fund has two programmatic areas in which it invests:

Conservation

actions on the ground, to better manage protected landscapes so that they function as lionscapes

Campaigns

to build the public, political, and philanthropic will to recover lions.

Please download our Strategic Guidance document for a more detailed look into the focus of our investments. PDF

Conservation Actions on the ground

Photo: John McCormack

The LRF invests in three types of landscapes for site-based investment:

  • Retain Sites
    Sites with existing large lion populations that require protection and where we must hold the line. 
  • Recover Sites
    Sites with potential for significant growth in lion numbers.
  • Rescue Sites
    Sites within countries where there is a high risk of national extinction of lions. 

Investments in these sites range from strategies to address critical threats to lions, to active management of lion and prey populations, to strategies that expand the effective conservation footprint within protected landscapes. 

Conservation Campaigns to build the public, political, and philanthropic will to recover lions.

Photo: Ken and Mitchell Dyball

Despite the tragic loss of lions across much of Africa and the dramatic impact their loss has on ecosystem health, few people are familiar with the crisis or what they can do to address it. 

  • The public in Western countries is generally unaware of what is at stake. Similarly, the public in lion range countries either do not know of the decline in lions, are apathetic, or are actively antagonistic in attitudes towards lions. 
  • The political will of African governments is often inadequate to allow for the effective resourcing of protected areas, or for taking the legislative steps to allow effective conservation on community and private lands to become a reality. In parallel, western governments lack awareness of just how vital Africa’s protected landscapes are for their ecosystem services to a growing African population and to tourism economies—and therefore fail themselves to provide support to conservationists’ efforts.
  • Philanthropy from the U.S. and other developed nations is woefully inadequate because there is virtually no awareness of the loss of lions and the imperative of improving management of the protected area estate in Africa.  

Photo: Jon McCormack

These challenges make conserving lions monumentally harder. The LRF therefore invests in campaign concepts from within and from outside the conservation community that will elevate: 

  • The Public Will so that targeted segments of society in the West and in Africa are significantly more aware of the lion crisis and invested in lion recovery.
  • The Political Will such that African and donor governments alike invest more in lion recovery and restoration of Africa’s protected areas, and
  • The Philanthropic Will such that financial support by corporations, large foundations, bi-lateral government aid, multi-lateral agencies, and private individuals is dramatically elevated and expanded.